Cooper said he will sign state budget agreement

RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) – Gov. Roy Cooper said he will sign a state budget agreement that the Republican-controlled legislature is expected to pass within days.

The Senate scheduled for Tuesday the first of the chamber’s two required votes on the two-year spending plan.

The House will follow on Wednesday.

“I will sign this budget because on balance the good outweighs the bad,” Cooper said at a midday news conference in Raleigh.

Cooper said the $25.9 billion budget will move the state forward in several ways, many critical as North Carolina emerges from the pandemic.

The state has been without a state budget for nearly three years as Cooper has vetoed several spending bills.

According to Rep. Brian Farkas, the legislation also provides $215 million for East Carolina University to build a new medical school building, while curbing the governor’s emergency powers in 2023.

Included in the budget are state employee pay raises averaging 2.5%, bonuses giving most state employees another $1,500, while teachers will get up to a $2,800 bonus.

The Senate voted on the budget Tuesday and the House will follow on Wednesday.

Copyright 2021 WITN. All rights reserved.